Stigsborg Nature Park

Designing a park founded in local geology and industrial heritage.

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Karsten Thorlund

Head of SLA Aarhus, Architect MAA


Aalborg, Denmark


15 hectares


2019 — 2024


Aalborg Municipality, Stigsborg P/S, PFA Ejendomme, and A. Enggard A/S


Landscape architect

The 15-hectare Stigborg Nature Park will become Aalborg’s biggest urban park and the keystone in the city’s new district of Stigsborg.

Aalborg’s new city district Stigsborg is one of Denmark’s largest waterfront development projects. The district, which transforms the former industrial and harbor front in Nørresundby into a modern city, will in the future contain up to 6,000 homes in addition to a school, daycare centers, cafés, and retail.

In the middle of the district, SLA is creating a new park with nature experiences and activities for Aalborg residents of all ages. Stigsborg Nature Park will be Aalborg’s largest urban park at 15 hectares and will also function as schoolyard and sports facility for Stigsborg’s school.

SLA’s design of Stigsborg Nature Park uses the geology of Aalborg’s fjord landscape and existing natural habitats to create a modern nature park that, with the help of ecosystem services and high biodiversity, creates the framework for a wide range of recreation, learning, and activity opportunities.

The central element of the city park is the unique geology of Aalborg and the Limfjord, whose periodic layers, geological deposits, and industrial raw materials form the backbone of the park’s design.

In Stigsborg Nature Park, Aalborg’s natural foundation and geological history become the basis for the park’s function, programming, and spaciousness: Chalk deposits create living spaces, fjord mussels are used as path surfaces, and earth layers shield and clean the soil pollution left by former industry.

“Aalborg's defining quality is its underground. By founding Stigsborg Nature Park in the city's geology, raw materials, and proximity to the Limfjord, we are creating a unique park with qualities and nature experiences that cannot be found anywhere else.”

— Karsten Thorlund, Head of SLA in Aarhus

The park’s activities are concentrated in The Urban Strip – a dense zone with diverse activities and programs that frames the green park space. The Urban Strip will be a car-free zone with activities linked to both school and leisure life, such as sports activities, playgrounds, skating rinks, cafes, and learning areas.

The latter is particularly relevant, as Stigsborg Nature Park will also function as a schoolyard and active learning landscape for Stigsborg’s future Children and Youth Universe. The park thus becomes the place where children, adults, and visitors can use all the park’s facilities and natural spaces and learn about Aalborg’s history and development – from the earliest geological ages to modern industrial history.

The first phase of the construction work for Stigsborg Nature Park started December 2022 with Arkil as contractor and is scheduled to be completed this summer.